Behold one of our favorite sandwich breads. It has a tender crust, it's a bit chewy, it slices effortlessly and it smells great when you put it into your mouth. I call this “everyday” potato bread because I use potato flour or potato flakes (plain, unseasoned instant potatoes) instead of a cooked potato. In any form, potatoes make any loaf of bread even better. You can substitute potato flour (2 parts flakes : 1 part flour, by weight) if you can't easily get potato flakes. Like any good sandwich loaf, this makes excellent toast. I hope you like it. ;o)
Butter or olive oil for the top of the loaf (about a teaspoon)
In This Recipe
Scald the milk. Let cool until warm to the touch. Put it in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the warmed honey, yeast and potato flakes or potato flour.
Add the flour and the salt. Stir just until combined. Run the dough hook for 2 minutes, stirring down the side of the bowl if necessary to ensure full incorporation of all of the ingredients. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for 20 - 25 minutes. Oil a large bowl for proofing (but see my note at the end of the next step).
Run the dough hook for 2 -3 minutes, drizzling in the olive oil in a slow stream, to incorporate most of the oil. Sprinkle the wheat germ over the ball of dough. Run the dough hook on medium for 8 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, put it into the oiled bowl, and flip it over a few times. (If you’re not using the stand mixer bowl for anything else, you can simply drizzle the oil in that bowl and use it for proofing.) Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in volume, 60 to 90 minutes.
Press the dough gently into a rectangle that’s about as long as your loaf pan. Shape the dough by rolling it tightly, starting with one of the long sides. Gently pinch the ends. Put the dough, seam side down, into a well-oiled loaf pan.
Let rise until the dough domes about an inch above the rim of the pan, 45 – 60 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Slash the top of the loaf and bake for 40 - 45 minutes, tenting with foil after 25 if the crust seems to be darkening quickly
Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. Brush the top with butter, if you wish. (I usually don’t bother actually to brush the loaf. Instead, I use the end of a stick of butter which I hold using the paper wrapper as I rub it over the warm loaf.)
Allow the loaf to sit for at least an hour before slicing.
This was submitted by AntoniaJames on Food52. I include this here because Food52 shares many recipes for publication on other sites, without including any attribution of the Food52 user who created and contributed the recipe.
Years ago, bread recipes involving milk always started with the instruction to scald the milk and then let it cool. These days recipe drafters skip the scalding step; they'll tell you that it's not necessary, because all milk is safe now without scalding. What they don't realize is that there are compounds in milk that cause yeast not to function at its best; scalding the milk neutralizes their effect, thus producing a better loaf.
A Note about Potato Flakes: It’s no secret that potato gives bread a lovely texture. The beauty of the flakes is that, unlike with leftover mashed potatoes, you (a) don’t have to wait until you have leftover mashed potatoes, or otherwise cook some up, to make a loaf of potato bread; and (ii) you don’t have to worry about getting the salt right, or whether you’ve estimated the liquids correctly. (Potatoes and the liquids used in mashing them vary considerably from batch to batch, depending on the moisture of the potatoes themselves, how much cooking water has been poured off, etc.) That never stops me from using leftover mashed potatoes if I have them, because I have enough experience to correct any mistakes by adding more liquid or flour as necessary during the kneading process, and to avoid over salting. That said, I love the convenience of potato flakes, and potato flour, which is now available in bulk in many stores that sell wheat and other flours in bulk.
I have updated the ingredients, to provide metric units of measure, as well as the instructions, for making this using a stand mixer. If you would like a copy of the original recipe, please send me a note with your email address, so I can send it to you in PDF. Thank you.
When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)